Crystal Palace

Scouting Report: Should Crystal Palace Manager Tony Pulis Sign Pape Diop?

Atletico de Madrid's Aderweireld, duels for the ball with Levante's Pape Diop, right, and Sisoko, left, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium in Valencia, Spain, on Sunday, May 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Alberto Saiz/Associated Press
Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMay 31, 2014

A recommended summer transfer window target for Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis is Levante's Pape Diop, so here is a scouting report on the 28-year-old Senegalese international. 

 

Positives

Diop is a 5'11", 161-pound footballer who can operate as a central midfielder in a 4-4-2 or as a defensive midfielder in a 4-2-3-1. 

Source: Marca.com.

While Pulis and Palace's front office put central midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi, who started 25 Premier League games in the past season, on the released list, per the Premier League's official website, the South African international has not been discarded yet. 

Dikgacoi is currently in contractual negotiations with Palace, per Mark Ritson at the Croydon Advertiser.

Diop would be an upgrade over Dikgacoi.

League OnlyKagisho DikgacoiPape Diop
   
Tackles Per Game1.22.9
Fouls Per Game0.72.4
Tackles Per Foul1.91.2
Interceptions Per Game1.31.4
Possessions Won Back Per Game2.54.3
   

Not only is Diop a more prolific ball-winner, but he is also more ambitious, daring and effective going forward than Dikgacoi, who did not score a single goal. 

Despite Osasuna centre-back Alejandro Arribas putting his body on the line, Diop's instep shot darted past Osasuna goalkeeper Andres.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Against Real BetisDiop powerfully drove the ball past Betis 'keeper Antonio Adan.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Celta Vigo 'keeper Yoel dived in vain as Diop displayed great timing when he emphatically scored a volley.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

There was a touch of finesse when Diop guided the ball away from the outstretched left hand of Almeria 'keeper Esteban.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

If Diop keeps working on his shooting, he can turn into an all-round midfielder.

 

Negatives

Since the 2009-10 season, Diop has tallied up 436 tackles through playing hard, gritting his teeth and being an enforcer. 

Invariably, he has developed a hapless reputation with referees. 

When Diop was challenging for the ball, his boot grazed the shoulder of Real Zaragoza right attacking midfielder Victor Rodriguez, who clutched his head like Rivaldo and withered on the floor like Jurgen Klinsmann.

Referee Gil Manzano presumably factored in Diop's reputation as a hard man and sent him off. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Real Valladolid left winger Omar Ramos leaned into Diop and then collapsed to the floor. Referee Iglesias Villanueva wrongly assumed Diop initiated contact. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Against Malaga, Diop lost his footing and inadvertently tripped up Malaga centre-back Ignacio Camacho.

Referee Prieto Iglesias should have given Diop the benefit of the doubt and just left it as a free-kick.

Instead, Iglesias believed it was a professional foul and dismissed him. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Diop's boisterousness works against him. 

One area Diop has to work on is his pass completion percentage. 

Diop turns over the ball 29.3 percent of the time he passes and once misplaced 52 percent of his passes, per Squawka.com

Source: Squawka.com.

 

Bottom Line

Diop would bring additional toughness to Pulis' Palace squad and can contribute with goals from long range. 

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com.

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